JLGC Seminar 2021 report – Housing Policy in Japan and the UK

Activities and Events

JLGC Seminar

JLGC Seminar 2021: Housing Policy in Japan and the UK – Homes Made for Everyone

8 March 2021 – Online

As local governments grapple with how to secure the best supply of new housing to meet the needs of local communities in a post-pandemic world, they must also ensure that homes are affordable and sustainable.  This was the theme of our first online seminar, Homes Made for Everyone, which looked at how Japanese housing and land use policies have attracted the attention of UK policymakers as a potential source of innovative practices, with public sector housing provision and Modern Methods of Construction (MMC, also known as modular or off-site manufactured homes) in particular now the focus of a partnership between the UK government Homes England agency and Japanese homebuilder Sekisui House.

UK local authorities and housing companies have engaged with such solutions in a number of new developments to quickly assemble low-cost homes to tackle homelessness, which can also enable local governments in both countries to deliver housing aligned with the UN SDGs around sustainability, well-being and economic growth.  This year’s JLGC Seminar examined policy approaches to meeting the housing challenges faced by local authorities in both the UK and Japan, including what part urban solutions from Japan can play to increase the supply of affordable low carbon homes in the UK.

The event brought together senior housing and planning officials and experts from the UK and Japan in a dialogue aimed at better understanding the current appetite for innovation in housing and planning, learning from projects and best practice to date, including Japan’s IoT-led Housing as a Service model.

Moderator – Richard Vize, public policy expert and commentator

Opening remarks: Yasuyuki Suzuki, Director General, Japan Local Government Centre

Presentation: Harry Swales, Executive Director, Homes England

Session 1: UR Presentation (click link to download presentation file)

Presentation and Q&A: Urban Renaissance Agency of Japan

Section Chiefs Akihiko Kubo, Jun Adachi, Shuichi Murakami

Panel discussion

• Harry Swales, Executive Director, Homes England

• Jenny Preece, Deputy Director, Planning – Infrastructure, Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government

• James Gleeson, Housing Research and Analysis Manager, Greater London Authority

The session explored the housing challenge and planning context in the UK and Japan to better understand the needs of communities in a post-pandemic world, including the role of international partnerships and knowledge sharing around innovation.

Session 2: Modern Methods of Construction (click link to download presentation file)

Presentation: Mark Farmer, UK Government MMC Champion

Panel discussion

• Mark Farmer, UK Government MMC Champion, Founding Director and CEO, Cast Consultancy

• Pat Hayes, Managing Director, Be First (Barking and Dagenham Council)

• Alexis Harris, Senior Policy Officer – Housing and Land, Greater London Authority

• Sir Steve Bullock, Chair, PLACE London (London Councils)

The session explored the recent history of MMC in the UK, from the unique collaboration between the UK and Japan to deliver homes at volume across a number of developments, through to local authority projects using the latest off-site construction methods.